ANA SORAPASS (SKY PASS) CLASS
～From Anxiety to Enjoyment～
ANA has begun the program called the ANA Sorapass (Sky Pass) Class, targeted to the middle through high school students, who are attending the special-needs schools.
The program offers pre-flight experience for those students with special-needs by teaching the procedures to board the aircraft in preparing for their upcoming school trip. The employees from ANA Groups will be visiting requested schools as instructors, and they will be instructing pre-travel procedures including boarding process, security inspections, seating, and also deplaning the aircraft.
On July 2019, the first ANA Sorapass Class was held at the Kirigaoka special-needs school, which the institution is affiliated with University of Tsukuba of Tokyo campus.
The staffs from ANA Groups explained the boarding procedures by using the company’s special textbook called the Sorapass Book.
Some of the students use electric wheelchairs in their daily lives. The curriculum covers the main points when they will be flying on the plane. It included regarding the ANA SPECIAL ASSISTANCE counters and introduced the types of wheelchairs that are offered by ANA. The instructors also explained about how their wheelchairs are loaded onto the aircraft and covering any concerns they may face. Furthermore, the students learned by riding the actual wheelchairs offered at the airports, (including onboard wheelchairs) to have genuine in-flight experience.
In addition, the two types of wheelchairs were used during the program. Particularly, every student showed their interest to the resin wheelchair (also called the Morph), which are offered at the airports as well.
The original model of the wheelchairs are mainly composed by metallic material in which the metal will hinder the wheelchair passengers to remain seated, while passing through the security checkpoint. However, by using the Morph, the wheelchair passengers can be remain seated, while they are passing through the security checkpoint. One of the students that used the Morph wheelchair said, “It was easy to operate and I was able to move comfortably.” Since the outer wheels can be detached, this allows the person to be remain seated inside the cabin while the passenger is moving onboard by their seat without getting off from their wheelchair.
Also, they had an opportunity to experience using a folding in-flight wheelchair allowing the wheelchair passengers to freely move onboard, such as heading to the lavatory by themselves and etc. Also, the students experienced to equip on a special seatbelt used for supporting their seating position.
The high school students who participated in the class expressed:
“I'm happy that I’ll be able to travel by plane without feeling worried and or anxious”. “The cushion of the Morph, which is made out of resin felt fluffy and comfortable.”
“I was able to learn how the wheelchairs are transported by the aircraft.”
It seemed as though their worries were gone and also gave a sense of excitement, which can be conveyed from those comments made by the students.
The project of ANA Sorapass Class was first launched from the request made by the school teacher at the special-needs school, who was planning to use ANA for the school trip, so that the students requiring special assistance can travel on the airplane with comfort.
Please note that the applications for ANA Sorapass Class will start from August for the special needs middle through high schools mainly around Tokyo area, which will be held after October.(*)
The ANA Groups will continue to serve and commit to be the airline that everyone can fly safely with comfort. Additionally, we are "Offering kind-hearted skies for everyone" by cherishing our customers’ smiles.
* Please click on the link below for the application (Japanese only)